Our students are thrilled to have pen-pals this year. We are partnered with a Grade 3 class from Texas. Our students brainstormed, drafted, and wrote their good copy of their very first pen-pal letter and also drew a picture to accompany the letter. We learned about the parts that make up a letter and how to properly address an envelope. Our letters should arrive in Texas on Tuesday. I will ask Mrs. J for her to take a picture of her class opening our parcel and reading our letters!
We are super excited to receive letters in return! We hope they arrive before Christmas.
As we gear up forChristmas, our days are filled with plenty of learning, discussion, and activity. Students talk about their Elf on the Shelf, what their plans are for Christmas, decorating their tree, and get excited as we being to play Christmas music.
Check out our students in action in various subject areas over the past few weeks.
playing “Dueling Flipcharts” as we learn about common nouns
running out of time!
Buster the Bus was here
Angles hunt around the classroom.
Students noticed an obtuse angle made by the doc cam
As we wrapped up our narrative unit, students were asked to work with a partner to share their work and use criteria to help them ensure their peer has all the important ingredients in their story. Students worked together to analyze the writing and see where they can bump it up!
We can’t wait to share our published stories with you!
In Writing Workshop, students have been working hard to create leads for their personal narrative.We’ve learned different ways to begin our story including describing the setting, using dialogue, or even writing an action. A lead helps your reader get into your story. It needs to ‘hook‘ your reader so they want to keep on reading!
Here, students are sharing their 2 leads with a partner and using their partner to help them decide which one is stronger.
We can learn a lot from what we call ‘mentor texts‘ which are texts written by published authors. Students listened to several examples of leads written by authors they are familiar with (ie. Charlotte’s Web author E.B. White, Ramona Quimby author Beverley Cleary). We can use these authors to help show us what are things that WE can try, too!
Do you have a lead of your own or from an author you like that really ‘hooked’ you to keep on reading? If so, please share it with us!
Mike really tried to make the students understand that truly anyone can be a writer. He only started writing in his early 40s and is now in his 50s. You can start writing at any age! He also stressed the importance of revision. He said the average number of times he revises is 7 times. Wow!
Mike has now written a total of 13 books and luckily our class has them all! Our school library does too. His stories are suitable for anyone who likes a good laugh. His characters, Gordon, Paulo, and I are always up for challenges and anything that sounds like trouble!
If you’ve never read a Mike Wade book, give it a try! You won’t regret it.
What are we up to you ask?The learning never ends in Room 124. We are building catapults, writing poetry, and rolling dice while we learn about probability.
Below you can see that students are working in partners or trios to design and build a catapult that must launch a marshmallow over a ‘wall’. They’ve put their thinking caps on and are busy gluing, sticking, and testing their designs. Good luck! (Thanks to Mrs. Bernardo for the pictures).
I’ve been blown away by the level of creative thinking by many students in our poetry unit so far. The vocabulary and ‘thinking outside the box’ is outstanding. We will be sure to share with you several of our poems. The students LOVE to share their poems with the class and are eager to keep writing…even into lunch hour! Woah. You can see us below writing a poem in a small group based on a regular, every day object that Mrs. Sullivan gave to us. Some of the objects included scissors, an orange cone, and a clipboard.
We were off to the races today playing a Horse Race game involving rolling a pair of dice and moving our ‘horse’ one space if the dice showed our horse’s number. If we were horse #5, then whenever someone threw a 5, we were allowed to move forward one space. Whomever crossed the finish line first was the winner. Some of us thought our horses were ‘cursed’ or that it was unlucky for some strange reason. Tomorrow we will discuss why certain horses were winning more than others. I have a feeling math has something to do with it!
Launching a unit in poetry means that we need to immerse ourselves in poems of course! Lots and lots of poems–not only written by famous poets like Shel Silverstein, T.S. Eliot, Naomi Shihab Nye, Dennis Lee, and Sheree Fitch, but also poems written by my past students.
So, what is poetry anyway? Some might say poetry is powerful words and that poems are hiding everywhere. Others may say poetry helps us tell a story, express our feelings, helps us heal.
Poems can be silly, nonsensical, sad, joyful, sorrowful, bright, confusing, thought-provoking, simple, complex, and so much more.
Our focus in this unit is on writing non-rhyming poems (free-verse poetry) and really learning how to use language to bring life to our thoughts and look at the world in different ways. I really love for students to learn to write free-verse poems because there are no rules and it gives permission to the students to think outside the box rather than conform to a certain structure. It really allows them to think freely and not have to worry about rhyming words so much.
Check us out immersing ourselves in reading some great poems with our friends on Tuesday.
Last Friday, students were delighted to welcome guest author/illustrator, Andrea Beck. Check out her website here.
She not only read to us but taught us about the writing process and how she illustrates her books. Students asked her all sorts of questions such as “Where do you get your inspiration?” and “What was your first published book?”
who’s got a question?
this is a storyboard
the book writing process
Andrea even shared with us that she just found out her book “Good Morning Canada” was chosen to be given to all first grade students across Canada! What an honour!
Andrea has written books that have even been made into TV shows. Her famous characters include Pierre, Buttercup the cow and of course Elliot the moose.
She showed us how simple shapes are used to help us achieve success at creating our own character. She sketched a picture of Elliot the moose and walked us through the fact that she starts with circles. Afterall, everyone can draw circles, she reminded us.
Andrea reminded us writers of something very important:
…it can be the simplest memories like digging on a beach or baking cakes as a kid that can become stories